Keep Fit 1

Writers are classified as high risk by life insurance companies. And poets beware–you’re regarded as the highest risk of all.

If you want to keep fit, boost your energy, improve your circulation–start here and now. Exercise at your desk. Easy start for Number 1. Wiggle your ankles. Only takes a minute.

Many health problems stem from how long we spend at a desk absorbed in writing and our thoughts. I have a lot of trouble remembering to stand up and move about enough in the day. Circulation slows down. and muscles cramp until in the end daily movement can become restricted.

So every week I’ll share one of my Keep Fit videos demonstrating exercises you can do at your desk to improve your circulation and your energy. Follow the series and let me know in the comments below if your mobility and energy improve.

The keep fit expert on the video is quite easy on the eye, too. 🙂

Say No to Coffee

woman drinking coffee
Image courtesy of Aleksa D at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Say no to coffee? Ridiculous thought!

With International Coffee Day online for world celebration on October 1, and all the new research showing how useful it could be in combating problems like Alzheimer’s and diabetes,  why would we give it up?

But if you feel your energy flagging more and more often, consider cutting down on topping up with too much coffee and tea throughout the day. Recent studies show that caffeine has health benefits. But they don’t all point out that the benefits depend on how much–or rather how little you consume.

Taking a leaf from Mark Twain’s quotation on smoking, I find it easy to give up coffee. I do it every day. 🙂

In truth caffeine consumption is a habit better avoided. If it’s too hard to start the day without it, that’s fine. Begin by limiting yourself to four cups a day–and that’s cups not huge mugs, according to The Caffeine Informer, a great site full  of coffee facts and figures.

Why limit your coffee intake?

Your daily dose of caffeine from tea or coffee, according to some research studies, may be what’s draining your energy. It could be what stops you rising and shining in the morning.

And remember the caffeine’s not just coming from your reviving morning cuppa. We Brits get half our caffeine fix from tea. It is in energy drinks, soft drinks, and even in your food so it all adds up.

Like all addictive drugs it starts by giving you a real go-getting buzz of energy . But it’s all at the expense of your own natural brain activity. When you reach the stage of thinking you need another cup of joe to function, then you’re going to suffer those difficult-to-handle withdrawal symptoms and feel dreadful without it in the morning.

What to Drink Instead

You’ll never manage to kick your coffee-drinking habit if you try to change to drinks you hate. Fruit flavored teas are popular but what worked for me was a ginger tea.

Licorice tea also has ginger but is more soothing. Love it but one cup is the daily maximum, especially if you suffer from hypertension. (Just read the label and realized why my blood pressure readings are soaring hehe)

Be careful not to overdose on the ginger teas either 🙂 As with coffee, four cups a day is the recommended maximum.

Another soothing herbal tea is chamomile, good for relieving stress and a far better bed time drink to help you sleep. And that’s another post for next time, when we’ll consider the need for a good sleep to boost your energy.

I’d love to know your thoughts on coffee drinking, for or against and what you consider to be the perfect alternative drinks.

Whisky? As a Scot, I’d have to agree it makes a great hot toddy at bedtime.

Just share your thoughts in the comments below 🙂

Fast Fixes to Beat Brain Freeze

exhausted workaholic
Thanks as always to FreeDigitalPhotos.net and Holohololand

I start out  every writing session full of good intentions. Then as the clock ticks round, the energy trickles away second by second. The words won’t come, and the harder I try, the more difficult it becomes to find the right word and even string ideas together. Recognize the feeling?

Maybe you feel drained and despondent. Perhaps you’re doing your writing after a full day’s work and your brain stutters to a stop. Or  you’ve just woken up and you feel as tired as when you went to bed.

Looking for a fast fix? And no, don’t dive for another cup of coffee. 🙂 I’ll show you the reasons why in my next post. Try a few fast fixes to boost your energy.

Duck Your Face in Cold Water

Yes, it works. Remember Paul Newman? He was said to submerge his face in a bucket of cold water every morning. One benefit , he said, was to get more blood flow to his face. It kept his skin taut, fresh and young looking.

Okay maybe not for us all, but it’s worth trying. Simply splashing your face in a basin of cold water will increase the blood flow to the brain. This helps you think and, if you’re a night owl, to stay awake.

Need to know the scientific explanation?

The cold water stimulates Norepinephrine also known as noradrenaline in the brain. This is what triggers our fight and flight responses but also it also works to aid intense concentration.

Hand stands, Head stands

Only for the active and yoga addicts. Done badly this could be dangerous. Safer to lie on the floor with legs straight and feet balanced on a cushion or chair.

For those of us who have been avoiding exercise for years, the Pilates roll down is an easier way to send the blood to the brain

Yay! I don’t mind doing this. 🙂

Try a Mini Workout

A quick workout is fantastic for boosting energy. Jigging about to a favorite pop song or play-conducting a loved piece of classical music will do the trick. You can do a few press ups if you like. I don’t. 🙁

Jumping up and down lightly on the spot is another quick way to pump up your energy and clear away the fog from the brain.

Take a Break

Do something you really love for ten minutes. Don’t try to ‘soldier on’ when you’re feeling exhausted and brain dead. Play solitaire, read the next chapter of that great book. Remember why you’re doing what you’re doing.

Nothing like finding focus to regain your enthusiasm. And enthusiasm is one of the best energy triggers around.

What works for you? Share your quick fixes for keeping the words and ideas flowing in the comments below.